CACFP Training

Provides information for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Operators on required and optional (elective) training, as well as additional training opportunities.

CDSS Bright Track Online Training 

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) offers CACFP and nutrition training, including annual mandatory training, prospective operator training, and optional (elective) training through the online platform, CDSS CACFP Bright Track.  There are approximately 35 optional online trainings available through Bright Track and 13 additional online trainings in development.  The CDSS will notify CACFP Operators as additional trainings become available.

Registration for Brighton Training 

Users will be required to create an account before registering for courses.  Before creating a user account and beginning the registration process, please view the Registration video or Quick Start Guide on the CDSS Bright Track Online CACFP Training web page (scroll to the  bottom of the page).   

Contact the CDSS CACFP Training Team at for questions about the CDSS Bright Track platform or other CACFP training opportunities. 

CACFP Annual Mandatory Training
Prospective Operator Training
Optional (Elective) Training
In-person and Virtual Training
Additional Online Training Databases

Additional Bright Track Courses Coming Soon! 

Below is a list of additional online courses (by subject area) in development.  The CDSS will notify CACFP Operators once these courses are available on the CDSS Bright Track platform. 


  • Crediting Foods in the CACFP  
  • Crediting Grains as Ounce Equivalents (oz eq) in the CACFP  
  • Navigating the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Buying Guide 


  • Adult Center Recordkeeping
  • At-Risk Recordkeeping
  • CACFP Enrollment
  • CACFP Performance Standards
  • Child Care Centers and Head Start Recordkeeping
  • Corrective Action
  • Eligibility Determination
  • Maintaining a Nonprofit Food Service Program
  • Meal Counting, Claiming, and Documentation
  • Sponsor Monitoring

CACFP Annual Mandatory Training

The CDSS Bright Track platform is also where CACFP Operators will access and complete the CDSS annual mandatory training requirement starting in program year 2022–23. 

All CACFP Operators, including child and adult care centers, at-risk afterschool care centers, emergency shelters, and sponsoring organizations, must ensure that either the authorized representative, the program contact, or their designee, attends online CDSS Annual Mandatory Training.  Other staff at the agency may also take the CDSS Annual Mandatory Training. 

New CACFP Operators who joined the CACFP in the current program year are not required to complete that current program year’s CACFP Annual Mandatory Training.  For example, CACFP Operators who joined the CACFP in the 2022–23 program year are not required to complete the 2022–23 CACFP Mandatory Annual Training.  However, those CACFP Operators will be required to complete the 2023–24 Mandatory Training.

Day care home providers and centers operating under a sponsoring organization are never required to complete the state agency-provided CACFP Annual Mandatory Training.

Please review the CDSS Training Requirements in the CACFP Bulletin for additional information regarding CACFP Annual Mandatory Training requirements. 

Prospective Operator Training

If you are a prospective CACFP Operator and need information regarding required training, please contact your county CACFP Specialist.  A list of CACFP Specialists by county is available on the CDSS CACFP Contact List web page.

During the CACFP application process, county CACFP Specialists will require prospective CACFP Operators to complete a series of online trainings, depending on agency type.  These trainings are designed to instruct prospective CACFP Operators on the requirements needed to successfully operate the CACFP.  Prospective CACFP Operators must complete all training requirements prior to operating the CACFP and claiming meals for reimbursement.

Please review the CDSS Training Requirements in the CACFP Bulletin for additional information regarding Prospective CACFP Operator training. 

CACFP Online Optional Training

There are many optional online trainings currently available through the CDSS Bright Track platform.  Topics include, but are not limited to the following topics:  Financial viability, recordkeeping and claims, budgets, menu planning, adding cultural foods to menus, special dietary needs, food allergies, family-style meal service, and much more! 

Users will be required to create an account before registering for courses.  Before creating a user account and beginning the registration process, please view the Registration video or Quick Start Guide on the CDSS Bright Track Online CACFP Training web page (scroll to the bottom of the page). 

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In-person and Virtual Training

Other CDSS Online Training

Crediting Grains as Oz Eq in the CACFP

The CDSS Crediting Grains as Oz Eq in the CACFP online course provides an overview of the requirement to credit grains as oz eq, demonstrates how to credit grains as oz eq for various grain products, and provides resources that CACFP Operators can use to understand this grain requirement.    

Feeding Infants in the CACFP

The CDSS Feeding Infants in the CACFP online course provides an overview of the infant meal pattern, developmental readiness signs for infants starting on solid foods, creditable foods for infants, benefits of breastfeeding, how to determine creditable infant formulas, and the documentation requirements for infant meals. 


Child Care Forums

Child Care Meal Quality (MQ) Forums

The Child Care MQ Forums are designed to assist early child care program food service staff with enhancing the quality of meals served to young children by highlighting healthy menu planning, food preparation, culinary skills, and kitchen safety.  All attendees will receive a variety of tools and resources that they can immediately use in their day care homes or child care centers.

Visit California Preschool Instructional Network (CPIN) Child Care MQ Forums for the agendas and session descriptions for the introductory and advanced MQ forums, speakers, professional growth hours, and registration information.

Child Care Nutrition and Physical Activity (NPA) Forums

The Child Care NPA Forums highlight and demonstrate methods for integrating nutrition education, edible gardens, wellness policies, and physical activity into child care programs. Participants will learn ways to create learning environments that maximize opportunities for children to develop healthy eating habits and to move their bodies to learn.  These forums provide a unique platform where early childhood educators can express challenges and develop solutions toward supporting active living and healthy eating environments.

Visit the CPIN Child Care NPA Forums for the agenda, session descriptions, speakers, professional growth hours, and registration information.


CACFP Roundtable Conference

The annual CACFP Roundtable Conference provides the CACFP community with an opportunity for professional growth.  Sessions range from topics such as program operations and management, nutrition and eating environments, advocacy and outreach, and professional growth. 

National CACFP Sponsors Association Conference

The annual CACFP Sponsors Association Conference provides training opportunities on CACFP policy, administration, nutrition, meal pattern and much more.  The conference is targeted to educating professionals from child care centers, family day care home providers, sponsoring organizations, school districts, afterschool programs, head start programs, food banks, tribal nations, and State Agencies.

CAPPA and Resource & Referral Network Annual Joint Conference

The California Alternative Payment Program Association (CAPPA) and the Child Care Resources and Referral Network Annual Joint Conference provides a networking and learning opportunity for professionals from the early care and education field including alternative payment programs, resource and referral programs, county welfare departments, and county offices of education.  Attendees typically are subsidy child care administrators, family caseworkers, resource and referral counselors and trainers, food program administrators, and child care advocates.

National Association for Family Child Care

The annual National Association for Family Child Care Conference provides an opportunity for family child care professionals to learn, network and collaborate. 

National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference

The National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference co-sponsored by the Food Research and Action Center and Feeding America and in cooperation with the National CACFP Forum, is targeted to anti-hunger and anti-poverty advocates, federal, state and local government officials, child advocates, representatives of food banks and food rescue organizations, sponsoring organizations, and nutrition and anti-obesity groups.

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Additional Online Training Databases

To find additional online training opportunities, visit:

  • National CACFP Sponsors Association Learning Center to locate free and low-cost online courses organized by specialty for CACFP Operators and early learning and care staff.


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.

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Contact Us

CDSS Child and Adult Care Food Program
744 P Street, MS 9-13-290
Sacramento, CA 95814

For more information or if you have any questions about CACFP Training, please contact the CDSS CACFP Branch Training Team by email at

CACFP Mailing List

To receive program updates by email, subscribe to the CACFP Mailing List here or by scanning the QR code with your smart device.

QR Code to scan to sign up for CACFP Mailing List

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